Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dinner a deux

Matt and I went out for dinner tonight. It was really lovely - we discovered an Italian restaurant a few hundred metres from our house, where we ate too much. We haven't been out just us really since I broke my leg - to tiring/complicated/painful/busy moving house/whoops ran out of money etc. And do you know what, I think we should do it again.

Work is still busy. Andy, who I currently work with, is ending his secondment early. This has big implications for me. I love working with Andy as it's a lot of fun and I'm learning a lot. Currently I have no idea where they're going to get a replacement from or when or whether I will like them much. Andy is very good at encouraging me to do loads of things and get good experience, so I hope whoever replaces him also does that. I have been promised that he will be replaced - I hope there isn't a big gap.

Have been upsetting some tenants and meeting some less-than-pleasing tenants. Being effective at getting things done and apologising to tenants for the things which should be done but aren't. Discovering that until you have to actually find solutions to anti-social behaviour problems you have very little idea how difficult they are to resolve. I still like it but in a less shiny way.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

IKEA offeres hotdog reassurance

Ashton-under-Lyne, in Tameside, was plunged into disarray today after hundreds of residents and workers got up up to 3 hours early to beat 'chaotic' traffic anticipated with the opening of the new IKEA. However, they were shocked when this additional traffic did not materialise. Reports suggest that this is due to IKEA offering no free sofas for people to fight over.

Once police officer, who preferred to remain anonymous, complained, “I feel cheated. We were promised chaos, but I spent all day watching empty, coned-off traffic lanes and feeling stupid.”

Reports confirm that IKEA Ashton is still offering the world-famous 'IKEA hotdog'. At 50 pence, however, it is more expensive that almost half of IKEA's stock.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Things I like, things I don't like

I've been left alone at work - Andy, my Neighbourhood Management Officer, is off for nearly two weeks. Today, the first day, I turn up to work to discover a tenant has set her kitchen on fire. My suspicion is that Andy did it just to make life more challenging.

I also have a child protection conference to attend on Tuesday. This is the only thing in my job which I haven't enjoyed. Some bits are not very exciting, some even border on dull (copy this information onto this form - why, that sounds delightful) but most of it I like.

I'm finding antisocial behaviour (ASB) work very interesting. Aside from the opportunity to nose into people's lives - it's legitimised gossip - I'm really interested in how we as a housing association deal with ASB and how it should be dealt with from a societal point of view.

We're different from a lot of agencies - social workers, family support, drug and alcohol abuse workers - in that we look at people on a societal level. While a lot of agencies seem to focus on the family and support and understnd their behaviour, we look at how their behaviour affects the wider community. This appears to produce some tensions.

This has made me think again about the Declaration of Children's Rights. This states, among other things, that adults should always do what is best for children. I have a real issue with this. It's not always possible or desirable to protect a child's best interests. For example, one tenant makes other people's lives a nightmare, making them keep their children indoors all the time. This tenant has children and, while evicting them would not be in their best interests, in might be in the best interests of other children and other (non-child) tenants. I think children should be protected and cared for by society, but not necessarily prioritised all the time.

Today a large spider fell from the ceiling onto my leg. This resulted in high-pitched screaming and spidercide. Spider-season is upon us and I am not happy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

This stuff is lethal...

In my ongoing search for alcohol that tastes nice, may I present Quinns, for which I can't find a good web link? Honestly, this stuff is lethal. It tastes pretty much like fruit juice but is 4% proof. Half way through my first bottle and I'd pretty much forgotten I should be drinking it slowly...

In other news, I've been to the Isle of Skye to visit my mother in law. She runs a bed and breakfast which I can highly recommend. And it's so beautiful up there! Best to go in season in my opinion. We're glad to be back in civilisation, and in our own house again.